Essay - European Colonisation Of Australia - Assessment Answer

November 16, 2018
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1FFA

Question: Essay

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Essay Assignment

Assignment Task

Submit an essay on one of the following topics.  The topic you select may be the same or different to the topic covered in Assessment 1.


1. With reference to either the Charity Organisation Societies or the Settlement Movement (Chenoweth & McAuliffe, 2015, p.34), discuss the relevance of their underpinning ideas to the development of human services in Australia

2. "Given the history of European colonisation of Australia, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are wary of white institutions and social welfare" (Chenoweth & McAuliffe, 2015, p.268). Identify and discuss one or two policies or pieces of legislation that may have impacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how the effects can be seen today.

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It has been seen in all the social indicators Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are those, who are the most disadvantaged people in Australia. These people have worse conditions and opportunities in education, healthcare, employment, incidence of family violence and standard of living. These people are also over-represented in the criminal justice system and child protection. The differences and inequality is so high that life expectancy of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is less than ten years for the women and twelve years for the men in comparison to non-Aboriginal and non-indigenous people.

This level of disadvantage towards those people had been looked through the strategy of the “Closing the Gap”. Australian Government has used this strategy to treat Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander communities, but this has further deteriorated the condition of these people. The strategies were made up of the ill-conceived designs of the programs and their execution is ineffective. The strategy has changed the condition of these people to worse situation. The essay will discuss some Australian legislations that were made for the betterment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but, they lead to worsening of their condition and living.

Northern Territory Emergency Response

The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) was meant to address the child abuse in the Northern Territory. Yet, this policy greatly discriminated against the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This policy also suspended the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. The NTER is meant to have detailed measures and special scope that can impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Territory. The measure included in the policy impact the lives of all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals in relation to their income, healthcare, alcohol restriction and other discriminatory policies that bring these people under the criminal justice system.

The Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) violates the right of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be free from the racial discriminations against them. This policy does not allow these people to have social security, self determination, dignity, and freedom, individual autonomy in relation to privacy family matters, land and property rights and also cultural integrity. NTER is applied to the entire aboriginal communities by it is found to do racial discrimination and human rights of the aboriginal communities.  It inappropriately affects the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is because the population f the aboriginal people is very high in the Northern Territory. The NTER is simply a wider framework for the systematic racial discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Terra nullius

From the year 1788, Australia was the country of the settlement and was not the land of invasion. The land of Aboriginals was taken by the Europeans more specifically by the British colonies. This land was acquired by them on the principle of “terra nullius”, which means that lands belong to no one. The European colonization resulted in the great decline of the Aboriginal population. The population of the Aboriginal people living in Australia at the time of European colonization varied from 300,000 to one million people. The number of indigenous people, who lost their life on the frontier conflicts, also varies a lot (Ross, 2006).

Though the exact number of the death of indigenous people in unknown, it is the fact that most of the women, children and men died due to suffering from such diseases, towards which these people had no resistance. These diseases were measles, small pox and influenza. Many people also died because of the random killings, and organized massacres (Wilfrid, Kerrie, & Carol, 2001). At the time of European colonization, there were around 250 indigenous languages, but in the current time only 20 languages are considered to be remain existing.

According to white settlement in 1834 Australia was a waste and free country no one had any rights to it. Many killed of aboriginal individuals as result of a conflict and forced to remove from their own homes and land as equal as being homeless(Wilfrid et al. 2001).  In the year 1992 the principle of “terra nullius” was dismissed in the Mabo decision of the Australian High Court and the decision acknowledged the occupation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people same as that was before the European settlement.

Though, the premise of Terra nullius has been dismissed it remain in the heart of the Australian legal system. There has been no social justice of the Aboriginal people till date. “The impact of terra nullius has been the denial of Aboriginal land and a denial of fundamental Aboriginal rights. Social justice is still outstanding”.

Stolen Generations

The history related to the children of Aboriginal population, who were stolen, varies from time and place. The children of Aboriginal and Ingenious people were taken away from their parents without the concern of parents and order of the court. There had been different policies for the removal of the children and during different periods, there were different principles associated with removal of children.

The white mentality approach behind this ruling was that 1 culture is greater than the other culture in every aspect (the social science journal). As the results of this legislation it leads to as many people as one hundred thousand were taken away from their indigenous families but especially young children from year 1910 to 1970s detained or given to white family (The stolen Generation 2008).

Those people were discarded in a lot of ways such as being taken away from their whole family, knowing that that were never gone see their relatives maybe ever, taking their culture away from them also forced to adopt in new ways of life style plus there was no one to help or understand them (Wilfrid, P, Kerrie, R & Carol, F, 2001). Additional to this (Journal of Traumatic Stress) says this lead many of them to suffer in lots of way, such as emotionally, spiritually and physically for the rest of their lives. As it can be seen in today’s society that all policies at those times were against and forced upon aboriginal people.

The Indigenous children were removed from their communities and families, in order to take care of non-Indigenous population. This was done in order to include them in the non-Aboriginal communities. In the area of Queensland, the removal of the children meant to send them to the dormitories (Cuthbert, and Quartly, 2013). These children were given the training to become the domestic servants and farm labors under the control of non-Aboriginal people. Other children who were separated from their families and parents were sent to orphanages to live with other Aboriginal children. These children were kept there to be adopted by the non-Aboriginal families. This was mainly prevalent in the period of 1940’s.

The people who were removed from their families have later reported that they were restricted to speak their Aboriginal languages. These people were told that their parents do not want them and that’s why they were given away. These children had to face physical, mental and sexual abuse. They had little or no rights towards education and were not allowed to contact their families (Cuthbert, and Quartly, 2013).

The generations, which were removed, were greatly impacted. In the current time also, these people suffer from trauma, low self esteem, loss of cultural identity, social and survival skills and developing relationship with families and their own children. The impact of this removal is so grave, that some of the members, who had been removed, could be united back with their families till date (Cuthbert, and Quartly, 2013).

The stolen children were highly suffered from depression, suicidal tendencies, and anxiety. The families of such children were also impacted. The parents of the stolen children were devastated and could never recover from the trauma of being separated from their children. The parents could not live without their children and choose the way towards alcoholism as coping mechanism. The oral culture of the Aboriginal and Indigenous population was also affected due to the removal of many generations. Due to this the knowledge about the culture was lost.

The stolen generations were forced to live in unwanted family environments, they never experienced healthy family environment and could never develop good parenting skills in their future. The policy of children removal or the “stolen generation” was the biggest breach of the fundamental human rights.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had faced many social and economic issues due to the European settlement in Australia. These people were removed from their lands and were forced to live a life deprived from education, social rights and financial status. The impacts of some of the policies discussed in the essay are Northern Territory Emergency Response, Terra nullius and Stolen Generations. The impact of these policies is still very high. The aboriginal and Indigenous population still face racial and social discriminations. Though, many new policies have been made to restore the life of these people, still it has great impact on their current living.

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